Phi’s Fabrics
Originally uploaded by plainsight

Yesterday, my mom, her good friend Pam, and I went exploring in Langley Park–the shopping district just behind my house. Langley Park is a busy commercial district that serves a fusion of Hispanic, Indian, African, Vietnamese and other Asian cultures.

There are restaurants, including my favorite, Woodlands, which has a great south-Indian vegetarian buffet lunch, and the best pizza place in the area, Pizza Castle, which also serves grape leaf rolls and quesadillas (talk about fusion cuisine!), there’s a popular hispanic bakery, a plethora of discount import stores, and lots, and lots of fabric stores–African fabric stores, Indian fabric stores–with sari materials, and yards and yards of glitz and glitter. But most of these small boutiques don’t carry a lot in the way of notions.

Enter Phi’s. Just up the road from the busiest part of Langley Park is a small building that houses–behind barred windows–a Tatoo Parlor and on the upper two floors, Phi’s Fabrics.

When you walk up the stairs to Phi’s you walk past cutouts of ball-gowns collaged onto the wall. The first level is stuffed with bolts of fabric, and with no projects in mind, I didn’t linger there. Once on the second level, I was hooked. I couldn’t stay too long–because without strong air conditioning, the room was a bit stifling for my shopping companions, but I could have browsed for a long time looking at trim and ribbon and buttons, and hooks and notions, and frog closures, and a covered button machine, and much, much more. Phi says she’s been in the spot for 17 years. I got the feeling that this is the place real sewers come for their supplies. In one small room, it has a better selection than our area’s famous G-Street Fabrics for some kinds of notions, and it’s just down the street from my house!

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Phi’s Fabrics